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Why Anyone Who Claims to Know the Future of Movie Theaters Is Wrong

Screen Talk 324: Box office analyst Tom Brueggemann talks about recent developments in the reopening of movie theaters.

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Everything is relative when it comes to success these days. A few months ago, the future of movie theaters looked pretty bleak. Now, as New York City theaters start to reopen and Los Angeles is just around the corner, there may be some reasons for optimism. Then again, as studios adapt to shrinking release windows and launch their own streaming platforms, movie theaters are coming back to the scene in a vastly different environment than the one they faced just a year ago.

All of this means that the future is an open question. In this week’s episode of Screen Talk, IndieWire’s box office analyst Tom Brueggemann talks to Eric Kohn about the nature of that uncertainty.

“Anybody who tells you they know what’s going to happen either has a vested interest in it or is naive,” said Brueggemann, filling in for usual Screen Talk co-host Anne Thompson. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Every day that theaters don’t get open makes it more difficult for business as normal to return. The business has moved on.”

Brueggemann explained the specific challenges faced by multiplexes and arthouses while offering some ideas about how distributors might update their release strategies for the new world ahead. Thompson will return from vacation next week to discuss the Oscar nominations.

Watch the full episode above or listen to it below.

Screen Talk is produced by Leonardo Adrian Garcia and available on Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Soundcloud. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on Apple Podcasts, and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on Apple Podcasts right here.

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